Probably the number one question I get, even more than “What’s your story about?” believe it or not, is “How many words do you try to write in each chapter?”

Whenever I get this question I always give the same answer: I don’t aim for any specific word count. I just write the chapter and consider it “finished” when it’s accomplished whatever it was supposed to accomplish. If that means the chapter ends up being under 1K or over 4K then so be it. But if you try to make every chapter the same amount of words you’ll find yourself adding unnecessary words that any good Beta-Reader or Editor will notice and advise to get rid of them. So why bother putting yourself or your reader through that for the sake of hitting a certain word count every time?

To illustrate how chapter lengths change and literally never stay the same I want to show you how my chapter lengths changed from the Vomit Draft to the First Draft of the first book in my ShadowRealm Series. I’m only going to show you Act I (13 Chapters) as I feel showing 42 Chapters is a bit excessive. But you’ll get to see the fluctuation on three, possibly four, different drafts for just one book and hopefully understand that length is the most UNIMPORTANT aspect in your novel. The MOST important part is actually telling the story, regardless of length!

 

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